Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti KahuLand Claims Report for May 2015
1. Offer from Crown to fully and finally extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims
2. Progress with publication of Deed of Partial Settlement
3. Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Litigation Against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services
4. Te Ana o Taite and Carrington Jade – visit to Shanghai
5. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum – Whangaehu marae hui 6-8 May
· A final decision on the Crown’s offer awaits the response of one marae who are in discussions with Whangaroa.
· Our Deed of Partial Settlement is being reviewed by the publishers.
· The High Court agreed to postpone proceedings for a further two months to allow the litigation brought by Ngāti Kahu Trust Board to be settled.
· Ten people successfully undertook the first visit to Shanghai in May.
· A number of issues were dealt with at the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum’s hui including membership of the Forum, freshwater ownership and management, the review of Te Ture Whenua Māori, Whānau Ora and the Rangatahi Forum.
1. Offer from Crown to fully and finally extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims
Aputerewa marae is still working on their decision following on from an important hui with Whangaroa hapū in respect of their claims held on 3 May at Aputerewa marae. The hui was very well attended and discussed Whakaangi in particular at some length. No resolutions were reached and another hui will be called. However Whangaroa is under pressure from the government to sign a deed of settlement in June. Their negotiators were advised that it would be most unwise to proceed with the completion of such a deed when the issues discussed at Aputerewa marae and others matters signaled there as needing to be resolved are still under discussion.
Our application to judicially review the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision not to give us binding recommendations will be heard on 22-24 June in the High Court in Wellington.
2. Progress with Publication of the Deed of Partial Settlement
While Huia Publishers are reviewing our Deed of Partial Settlement to see whether they will publish it, Ngāi Tohianga and Ngāti Ruaiti have made amendments to their sections and Te Paatu ki Pāmapūria is working on changes to theirs. These will all be included along with any others received before the final editing is completed.
3. Ngāti Kahu Trust Board v Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services Ltd
While Trust Board representatives did not attend our Rūnanga hui last month, two of the four remaining trustees attended the hui at Aputerewa marae the next day. We met at the end of that hui and they advised that the remaining trustees are Graham Latimer, Richard Lawrence, Pereniki Tauhara and Glenn Larkins. The last two agreed to instruct their lawyers to advise the High Court that they are prepared to reach agreement on an out of court settlement. They did instruct their lawyers accordingly and the court has postponed the matter for a further two months to allow settlement to be reached. We hope they will be able to attend our hui on 6 June.
4. Carrington Jade and Shanghai Cred – visit to Shanghai
A group of ten, two of whom paid their own way, conducted Ngāti Kahu’s first diplomatic mission to Shanghai between 11 and 18 May. We were hosted there by Shanghai Cred, the owners of Carrington Jade. This is the first of the five annual cultural exchange trips included in our cooperation agreement with Carrington Jade.
It was a very successful trip. Shanghai Cred arranged a very full and exhausting itinerary for us and assigned two guides and a bus for us to visit Shanghai Cred’s operations and many places and events of cultural significance for both older (restored pre-Cultural Revolution sites) and modern Shanghai. Mr Gui, Shanghai Cred’s owner, spent time with us on three separate occasions. Before we left he briefed us on decisions Shanghai Cred has made in respect of their Karikari operation.
Overall we felt that we now have a much better understanding of Shanghai Cred’s culture and operations and that our relationship with Shanghai Cred was greatly enhanced by the visit. An immediate indication of this has been the replacement of the planning consultant we have always had to deal with on Carrington Farms matters with one who speaks te reo and is experienced in working with iwi.
5. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum, Whangaehu, 6-8 May
The first day of this hui was set aside to wānanga and develop a “strategic and proactive approach” for the forum. The morning’s discussions went well. After lunch it was diverted to pushing through a resolution, driven by Sonny Tau of Ngāpuhi, which aimed to evict Ngāti Hine from the Forum. Ngāti Hine was not present having given their apologies. Despite my attempts to stop it Sonny bullied the hui into passing the resolution. He made sure that it was ratified the next morning despite the Forum receiving news of the passing of Erima Henare. The Ngāpuhi contingent then left the hui which prompted comments from other iwi chairs. Although it was not discussed the resolution has serious implications for a number of current members of the Forum who could meet the same fate as Ngāti Hine if the resolution is fully implemented. Many people commented to me that this was a most unsatisfactory way to conduct the Forum’s business.
The Freshwater Iwi Leaders’ Group reported that while their work plan with government was proceeding as agreed at the Kerikeri hui in February, officials are already showing lack of good faith by trying to down play Māori ownership of water from rights and interests to mere recognition so that they don’t have to deal with it. They have also sought a one year adjournment on the Waitangi Tribunal hearing the claim to Māori ownership of water.
On the review of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act on the management and use of Māori land, the Minister of Māori Development has taken charge and has become very secretive about what is being done. Officials now no longer work with Iwi Chairs’ Forum advisors group on the review and it appears that the seven resolutions agreed to throughout the country last year are going to be ignored. The government is instead going to run its own consultation hui on the bill it has drafted. We have not been able to access the bill before it was made public this week. People have less than a week to assess its contents before hui start on 4 June. The Forum therefore agreed that people should take copies of the seven resolutions to each hui, distribute it to those present and table it as the changes iwi have agreed are needed for Te Ture Whenua Māori Act. The Te Hiku hui is scheduled for Friday 5 June at 2pm at Waimanoni marae.
On Whānau Ora, the joint working party of ministers and iwi chairs has not got off to a good start. Ministers attended the meeting but paid little or no attention to the iwi chairs, essentially treating them as advisors and providing no feedback. Tariana Turia addressed the Forum and spoke of government bureaucrats wasting Whānau Ora funding by using it to support the large social welfare industry that exists in order to perpetuate Māori misery (this includes the Social Accord set up by the four Te Hiku deeds of settlement). In particular the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development are refusing to take a whanau-centred approach. A presentation by the Ministry of Education indicated the same behavior there. Tariana advised that Bill English is very supportive of Whānau Ora and willing to take steps to stop the wastage.
The Mātauranga/Education report was once again disappointing. Haami Piripi, Te Rarawa’s chair, criticized Te Kohanga Reo’s refusal to come under Ministry of Education direction, ignoring the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal that this is in breach of Te Tiriti. Haami is a dedicated supporter of the Minister of Education, takes direction from her rather than from iwi chairs and as such is an anomaly in the Forum. We were subjected to a long lecture by a Ministry official about Māori failure in the (Pākehā) education system which was finally cut off once several chairs started objecting to her wasting our time.
On the Matike Mai Aotearoa Constitutional Transformation report, the Forum made a formal resolution of their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Monitoring Mechanism established to monitor the government’s implementation and compliance with this declaration wrote to the Prime Minister asking him to discuss the matter. He referred it to the Minister of Māori Development who then passed it to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations. We have had no response from either of them. I informally approached Te Ururoa to ask him to reconsider passing the matter on to Chris Finlayson but he seemed non-committal. Finlayson is on record as refusing to allow UNDRIP to be referred to in any government policy or legislation. The Monitoring Mechanism will send a representative to the meeting of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July to advise of our group’s existence and work and to report on the New Zealand government’s non-compliance.
On the last day of the Forum hui we heard from a number of groups. The Rangatahi Forum which ran a parallel session to the main Forum reported. Eight iwi sent rangatahi representatives. They asked and it was agreed that there be on-going communication between iwi chairs and iwi rangatahi. They told us that their aim is to transform the systems in this country that limit the capability and achievements of our people. They look forward to combining their elders’ wisdom with their energy.
Te Ohu Kaimoana reported on the current review of their structural arrangements. We discussed this at our last hui.
The Māori general managers of the District Health Boards across the country talked about the work they are doing and changes they are trying to implement within the health system. They spoke of visiting the very successful programme in Alaska where they have established a tribal-led health system. Indigenous health indicators have significantly improved as a result. The Forum addresses Māori health through the Whānau Ora group.
I was appointed as the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum liaison person for Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (the National Māori Centre of Research Excellence based at the University of Auckland).
Professor Margaret Mutu
30 May 2015